Auburn Hills, Michigan – Jan. 12, 2018 – Volkswagen Group of America recently announced a recall of more than 8,000 of its Audi A5 Coupes from the 2018 model year, citing concerns about side curtain air bags potentially not deploying properly in the event of an accident, according to a filing made with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Specifically, the head curtain air bag has a chance to get caught on the trim of the vehicle’s A-pillar and therefore may not unfold from its compartment properly.
All vehicles in the recall are expected to be affected by this defect, and were produced from Nov. 17, 2016 to Dec. 14, 2017.
The issue arises because all air bags for these luxury vehicles were produced with excess fabric as well as a paper sleeve on the upper part of the A-Pillar.
In crashes in which the head curtain air bags are supposed to deploy, the potential for the air bag to get hung up on the A-pillar could result in injury for occupants, due to “positional tolerances.” As of Dec. 8, all Audi A5s from the 2018 model year were produced without the excess fabric and paper sleeves in question.
Timeline of Events
Prior to July 2017, testing on these vehicles showed that there was 100 percent compliance with production standards in air bag deployment issues, but at that time, testing showed certain abnormalities in deployment for air bags in the “foremost position.”
The next month, the issue came before the Audi Product Safety Committee, which ordered more testing and evaluation to be conducted on the affected vehicles. Those tests took place between August and November, 2017, which determined the factors and causes related to the air bag deployment issue, as well as what that could mean for drivers and passengers.
On Dec. 13, 2017, the Product Safety Committee determined the root cause of the defect and decided to issue the recall.
Drivers of the affected vehicles were advised to bring their Audi A5s to a dealer, where excess fabric on the curtain air bags will be removed, as will the paper sleeves on the upper parts of the A-pillars. As these alterations are free of charge, the repairs will not require reimbursement for owners.
Both Audi dealers and affected owners will begin receiving notification in the near future, starting on or before Jan. 31, 2018.